In a major blow to the Democrats, New York City Councilman Ari Kagan is set to announce today that he will be switching his political affiliation to the Republican Party.
This move comes as the GOP gains momentum in the outer boroughs of New York City, making Kagan a strong contender for the redrawn 47th District.
Kagan, who currently represents the 47th District, which includes parts of Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend, and Sea Gate, will now be taking on incumbent Councilman Justin Brannan in the new district. Brannan, the chairman of the powerful budget committee, currently represents the neighborhood of Bay Ridge in the 43rd District.
The 47th District has recently been redrawn, and in the 2021 election, Republican Curtis Sliwa narrowly defeated Mayor Eric Adams in the district. This gives Kagan a significant advantage in the general election against Brannan, who only narrowly won his re-election campaign in 2021.
The decision to switch parties was likely fueled by anger over inflation, criminal justice reforms approved by Democrats in Albany, and soaring gas prices. This sentiment has been evident in recent elections, with the GOP making significant gains across the country.
The news of Kagan’s switch has already sparked a back-and-forth between him and Brannan on Twitter. This race is sure to be a heated one, as the Democrats try to hold on to their power in the outer boroughs of New York City.